By Esther B. (Campbell) Gates
In memory of Sp/4 Keith Allen Campbell DSC, BSM, PH
Peace has come.
Now you can truly sleep my son.
The muddy field where you were laid
Flag-draped, will now be green.
Redbud and cherry blossoms can be seen
Soon in bloom above your head.
Arlington's Eternal Flame
Flickers across granite rows
To illuminate your name;
And then beneath it (with lightning's calm)
Strikes in black the word
On your own stone.
Peace has come.
Your medals may turn green
In time, like your beret.
But forever there are those who'll say,
"I live because he cared--he came!"
You need no longer wander a tormented soul.
You achieved your personal goal
Of saving lives, easing pain.
Now sleep in peace, my son. Sleep!
Our Nation has assured
You did not die in vain
And I no longer weep alone.
ARLINGTON'S VIETNAM DEAD
I wonder if you walk at night
Among those granite stones
Awakening sleeping souls to flight
To rattle history's bones.
I wonder if you sit to chat
At Mr. Lincoln's knee
Discussing all the "this" and "that"
That makes up history.
For history is what stretches wide
Before my brimming eyes
As the shimmering Potomac's tide
Blends with the lighted skies.
Row on row they sleep
Below me, now and forever more.
I count the stones (like counting sheep)
From each and every war.
"Can there be peace?" I'm sure they ask
At Mr. Lincoln's knee.
"To bleed and die was our task,
And now we're history.
But we did not love--we did not live
There was so little time.
Is twenty years too much to give
To fill an empty shrine?"
And as I stare and listen well
I'm sure that I can hear
A quiet splash in the columned cell
That's another Lincoln tear.
THE MISSING MAN
I stood beside the empty grave
Waiting for my friend,
Saying deep within my soul,
"This cannot be the end."
Then I heard a mighty roar;
Looked into the blinding sky
As four planes in close formation
Streaked above to say good-bye.
In a single moment
One pulled out, up, and away
And left a gaping hole
In that formation on this day.
As he did a "barrel roll"
(Bounding upward to disappear)
I heard my friend's bright laughter
As I wiped away a tear.
In that priceless, shining moment
My heart leaped up with pride
For I knew my friend would forever fly.
I knew he had not "died."
Esther B. (Campbell) Gates © 2000
Lives in San Antonio, Texas
Where her son, Keith, trained to become a Medic
"His goal was to become an Army Doctor"
"God Of Our Fathers-US Army Hymn"
Background By: In His Image